09/14/2006 12:00AM

Sheikh named in kidnapping suit


Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai who spent more than $60 million in the first three days of Keeneland's September yearling sale, has been named in a lawsuit alleging that he and other racing-camel owners in the United Arab Emirates are party to the illegal kidnapping of young boys to serve as camel jockeys, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Unnamed parents of the boys filed a civil suit in Miami last week seeking class-action status for a case that the suit says could involve more than 30,000 boys. The plaintiffs allege that boys as young as 2 have been abducted and enslaved as camel jockeys in the UAE.

Maktoum left the Keeneland sale on Wednesday and was unavailable for comment.